Friday, May 15, 2009

Trails for iPhone... FTW!

I have been using Trails for iPhone since version 1.0, but recently gave Motion-X GPS and Ascent Mobile a trial run for tracking walks/hikes.
I use the Ascent desktop software, thus it seemed like a natural fit to use the recently released Ascent mobile application, but this version is just too new and as a tracking application it has too many features missing, such as the ability to pause while recording a track. You must stop recording and then launch a new track with Ascent Mobile, this is a deal breaker.
Motion-X GPS does not offer the GPS accuracy obtained with Trails, launch time is a bit slower and GPS acquisition lags behind Trails. Also, Motion-X GPS does not have the tracking configuration features offered by Trails, such as specific settings for hiking, Jogging, cycling and car.
Bottom line, I returned to Trails, the new version 2.0 adds map caching for offline map usage (no data connection required), topographic maps and landscape graphing. The track summary page has been redone and gets an A+ for display and usability! Use of Trails is straight forward, swipe to pause, swipe again to re-start. The perfect iPhone Pedometer!
My workflow:
1. Record activity with Trails for iPhone.
2. Email GPX file to self.
3. Drop GPX file in Ascent for Mac, for reporting and analysis.
4. I can then sync activities back to Ascent Mobile on the iphone, allowing me to carry around my activity diary!
Thus, Trails is my acquisition device and Ascent is my reporting application. The best of both worlds!

No comments: